You might think that as long as your shower curtain keeps water from flooding your bathroom, it’s doing its job—but your shower curtain could do so much more. Really! Some shower curtains, for instance, are naturally resistant to mold. Others are easy to clean, or affordable, or add a sumptuous vibe to this private space. So if your bathroom is crying out for an easy upgrade, check out these shower curtain ideas. We’ve outlined the various types, along with their pros, cons, and ballpark price.
Photo by Marcia Butler Interior Design
Pros: Go for this near-ubiquitous type if you’re short on time and money. Vinyl, like other synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester, is easy to clean and inexpensive.
“There’s no need for a liner with a vinyl shower curtain, and it can be wiped down quickly with a damp sponge” to remove soap scum, says Juan Carlos Daetz, a home and garden expert at Max Warehouse. These materials also repel water, which helps to stave off the dreaded mold and mildew.
Average price: $15 to $25
Pros: Cotton gives more character to the bathroom and comes in every color and pattern under the sun.
“A fabric shower curtain will make the space feel extra-cozy and inviting,” says Daetz.
Cotton is fairly easy to maintain—just pop it in the wash and then hang it back up to dry, says Carol Marcotte, an interior designer with Form & Function in Raleigh, NC.
And, if you’re worried about durability, don’t be: With good care, a high-quality fabric curtain can last for years.
Cons: Cotton costs twice as much as vinyl, and you’ll need a liner to protect the fabric. This type of curtain also needs more frequent cleaning to avoid mildew buildup.
“You can help reduce the chance of mold and mildew on liners and curtains by allowing them to fully dry between showers,” Marcotte notes. Pull it straight across so the folds air out.
Cleaning the liner is also a snap, says Jamie Novak, home expert and author of “Keep This Toss That.”
“Soak it in a sink full of warm water and a half-cup of kitchen salt, let it sit for about an hour, and then hang up to dry,” she says.
Average price: $40 to $150 or more for custom-made curtains
Silk and satin
Photo by betsy berner interiors llc
Pros: If you’re dreaming of opulence, pull out all the stops and pick a sumptuous fabric.
Cons: You’ll shell out a pretty penny for a shower curtain like this one. It also needs a liner because it’s not water- or stain-resistant. Also, you’ll need to dry-clean it.
“A custom silk shower curtain requires about five yards of fabric, which tends to run at least $30 a yard,” notes Marcotte. Add to this about $125 to $175 to manufacture it.
Average price: $300 to $500 and up
Photo by Chris A Dorsey Photography
Pros: This fabric is the environmentally conscious choice. Renewable, chemical-free, and naturally resistant to mold, it’s also easy to care for (just pop it in the wash with your towels). Organic cotton is another eco-friendly choice.
Cons: You won’t find as many color and pattern options with hemp. In fact, most of them are downright blah-looking. And prices are on the high side, compared with vinyl and some cotton choices.
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